I do a lot of thinking and processing these days, its sort of become my norm over the last several years more than in the past. I think this comes with age and more awareness of others and the world around us, and brokenness. I love my church, I've been in church my whole life and I've always wanted to be there but there is just something about my current church that compels me, that draws me to it in a way that no other church has. I don't skip church....ever. I mean, if I'm out of town or something, sure, but if I am in Waco, on Sunday mornings, I'm at church, and its because I can't not be there because I want to be there so badly. I remember one time years ago when we lived here, I just wasn't feeling super hot, Adam and I were both especially tired and we made the decision to just not go to church that Sunday, oh man, did we hear about it! Brennan could not believe we weren't going to church, she was so perplexed and frustrated and irritated with Adam and I and made us promise that we would go the next week! I still smile when I think about that, I remember as a kid if my parents would have given me a "pass" on a Sunday morning, I would've probably thought "eh, no big deal, we'll have a lazy day" but not B, she wanted to go to church! Then fast forward to our time in CA where we tried 15 churches in 22 months and we all left depressed week after week and Brennan would ask "Do we HAVE to go??" every Sunday, man, that was a heart breaker. There is something about UBC that the three of us have in our veins, I think in some ways it defines who we are, we are a part of UBC, we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. We go each week and we are changed each week, and that is a unique thing. One of the many reasons I love UBC is because it challenges me, I leave with certain things rolling around in my head that make me pause, I leave feeling convicted of certain things, encouraged in certain things, and often with a challenge before me of something I need to do or just be better (at). That is the marker of a good church I think, you shouldn't leave the same week after week....right?
A couple weeks ago Josh said a few things that I could really relate to, that really struck a cord with me. His sermon was called "a place for anger in discipleship." I think so often Christians are taught that anger is bad, or that it isn't what Jesus would have us do with our emotions, or that we just all need to walk around with a smile on our face regardless of our circumstance because that's "Christian." Man, what a joke! This hasn't been my experience per se but I have had conversations with people where I've said "Its okay to be angry!! Jesus got angry! Its what we DO with our anger that is the problem." Right?. Josh said "There are some moments that you never mend from, you learn to live with a limp, living means moving through life with a part of your heart un-reconciled. We all have those events, what do you do when this happens?" And "Anger is a real emotion and it has a place in Christian faith. Rage belongs before God, God loves and does justice." These things really resonated with me, there are a couple deep wounds that I carry with me, and will until the day I die, even if they get "made right" the memory will never be gone, the pain of those moments won't ever fully be forgotten, but its such a poignant reminder that my anger about these wounds is valid, I have been wronged and God knows those wrongs, and he is the one in charge of the justice on my behalf. Thank you, Jesus. I was talking to someone recently who is older and wiser and who loves Jesus more than I do (those are good people to know :) and she knows one of my deep wounds and she was telling me to ask Jesus to bring justice for me, she challenged me to cry out to Him and ask him to bring to me what I cannot bring to myself. I had someone recently tell me that I wanted justice in an area of my life, and the way they were saying this to me was as though it was a bad thing, I was essentially being scolded for wanting/seeking justice. My reply was that I absolutely wanted justice! I make/made no bones about that -I am a justice seeker all.day.long. And the truth is, so is Jesus. Wanting justice isn't a bad thing, its a good thing, but we can't always bring that about ourselves, so we need to implore the one who can, and we should, this is a healthy thing to do with our hurt/anger; and as previously mentioned, its not the anger that gets us into trouble, its what we do with the anger. Christians should be justice seekers, wanting to be more like Jesus entails wanting and seeking justice. xo